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Essay On The Invention Of Computers

Essay On The Invention Of Computers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Invention of the PC

Introduction

Today’s personal computers are drastically different from the massive, hulking machines that emerged out of World War II–and the difference isn’t only in their size. By the 1970s, technology had evolved to the point that individuals–mostly hobbyists and electronics buffs–could purchase unassembled PCs or “microcomputers” and program them for fun, but these early PCs could not perform many of the useful tasks that today’s computers can. Users could do mathematical calculations and play simple games, but most of the machines’ appeal lay in their novelty. Today, hundreds of companies sell personal computers, accessories and sophisticated software and games, and PCs are used for a wide range of functions from basic word processing to editing photos to managing budgets. At home and at work, we use our PCs to do almost everything. It is nearly impossible to imagine modern life without them.

History Uncut: Bill Gates unveils Microsoft Excel 1987 2min

Thomas Edison 3min

Invention of the PC: The Computer Age

The earliest electronic computers were not “personal” in any way: They were enormous and hugely expensive, and they required a team of engineers and other specialists to keep them running. One of the first and most famous of these, the Electronic Numerical Integrator Analyzer and Computer (ENIAC), was built at the University of Pennsylvania to do ballistics calculations for the U.S. military during World War II. ENIAC cost $500,000, weighed 30 tons and took up nearly 2,000 square feet of floor space. On the outside, ENIAC was covered in a tangle of cables, hundreds of blinking lights and nearly 6,000 mechanical switches that its operators used to tell it what to do. On the inside, almost 18,000 vacuum tubes carried electrical signals from one part of the machine to another.

Did You Know?

Time magazine named the personal computer its 1982 «Man of the Year.»

Invention of the PC: Postwar Innovations

ENIAC and other early computers proved to many universities and corporations that the machines were worth the tremendous investment of money, space and manpower they demanded. (For example, ENIAC could solve in 30 seconds a missile-trajectory problem that could take a team of human “computers” 12 hours to complete.) At the same time, new technologies were making it possible to build computers that were smaller and more streamlined. In 1948, Bell Labs introduced the transistor, an electronic device that carried and amplified electrical current but was much smaller than the cumbersome vacuum tube. Ten years later, scientists at Texas Instruments and Fairchild Semiconductor came up with the integrated circuit, an invention that incorporated all of the computer’s electrical parts–transistors, capacitors, resistors and diodes–into a single silicon chip.

But one of the most significant of the inventions that paved the way for the PC revolution was the microprocessor. Before microprocessors were invented, computers needed a separate integrated-circuit chip for each one of their functions. (This was one reason the machines were still so large.) Microprocessors were the size of a thumbnail, and they could do things the integrated-circuit chips could not: They could run the computer’s programs, remember information and manage data all by themselves.

The first microprocessor on the market was developed in 1971 by an engineer at Intel named Ted Hoff. (Intel was located in California’s Santa Clara Valley, a place nicknamed “Silicon Valley” because of all the high-tech companies clustered around the Stanford Industrial Park there.) Intel’s first microprocessor, a 1/16-by-1/8-inch chip called the 4004, had the same computing power as the massive ENIAC.

The Invention of the PC

These innovations made it cheaper and easier to manufacture computers than ever before. As a result, the small, relatively inexpensive “microcomputer”–soon known as the “personal computer”–was born. In 1974, for instance, a company called Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS) introduced a mail-order build-it-yourself computer kit called the Altair. Compared to earlier microcomputers, the Altair was a huge success: Thousands of people bought the $400 kit. However, it really did not do much. It had no keyboard and no screen, and its output was just a bank of flashing lights. Users input data by flipping toggle switches.

In 1975, MITS hired a pair of Harvard students named Paul G. Allen and Bill Gates to adapt the BASIC programming language for the Altair. The software made the computer easier to use, and it was a hit. In April 1975 the two young programmers took the money they made from “Altair BASIC” and formed a company of their own—Microsoft—that soon became an empire.

The year after Gates and Allen started Microsoft, two engineers in the Homebrew Computer Club in Silicon Valley named Steve Jobs and Stephen Wozniak built a homemade computer that would likewise change the world. This computer, called the Apple I, was more sophisticated than the Altair: It had more memory, a cheaper microprocessor and a monitor with a screen. In April 1977, Jobs and Wozniak introduced the Apple II, which had a keyboard and a color screen. Also, users could store their data on an external cassette tape. (Apple soon swapped those tapes for floppy disks.) To make the Apple II as useful as possible, the company encouraged programmers to create “applications” for it. For example, a spreadsheet program called VisiCalc made the Apple a practical tool for all kinds of people (and businesses)–not just hobbyists.

The PC Revolution

The PC revolution had begun. Soon companies like Xerox, Tandy, Commodore and IBM had entered the market, and computers became ubiquitous in offices and eventually homes. Innovations like the “Graphical User Interface,” which allows users to select icons on the computer screen instead of writing complicated commands, and the computer mouse made PCs even more convenient and user-friendly. Today, laptops, smart phones and tablet computers allow us to have a PC with us wherever we go.

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Greatest Invention Of All Time: The Computer — With A Free Essay Review

It is evident how life has changed since technology has been introduced in the human life. When we think about technology mostly the first thing that comes to our mind is the image of a computer. Technological advancements such as computers have been designed and created with the only purpose to help humans and make their lives easier. Computers have become indispensable in any workplace where they are basically considered a compliment for people to help them on developing their activities. In fact, computers are the greatest invention of all time because they have multi-tasking features that can minimize your work, they can display and let you manipulate stored information, and they are used in almost all fields for any purpose.

First of all computers have multi-tasking features that can minimize the work you have to do. The cheapest or even oldest computer has at least the basic tasks such as mathematic operations and word processing that help you when you need to reduce your time on doing something. For example, computers avoid you having to calculate any result on doing math, the only thing you must do is to type the information needed and your work is done. According to Sam Ewing, �Computers are like bikinis. They save people a lot of guesswork.� But it is not just the work you do or the time it takes; it also saves you money in some way.

Secondly, computers can display and let you manipulate stored information. In other words, you don�t need to use paper in order to store any information on shelves. You don�t even have to rewrite a whole paper because you did a mistake or you have to add more information to the written form. You can have as many files as you can in your computer and organize them the way you like it without having to use any extra material or space. As Bill Gates said, �Paper is no longer a big part of my day. I get 90% of my news online, and when I go to a meeting and want to jot things down, I bring my Tablet PC.� Computers are becoming easier to carry and they can be used anywhere you need them.

Finally, computers are used in almost all fields for any purpose such as entertainment, education, and any type of job. For example, you can use computers to play videogames, watch movies, listen to music or chat on the internet for entertainment. In education or any job you can use them for videoconferences, PowerPoint presentations or just using their basic features discussed in the first point. �Computing is not about computers any more. It is about living,� Nicholas Negroponte said. So, computers have become a powerful tool used in several activity people do in their school, house or workplace.

Therefore computers are the greatest invention of all time because they reduce your time consumption on your activities, you can save your information and edit it anytime, and they let you do almost everything you need. Computers have become the most powerful tool ever created. They are tools of entertainment, tools of communication, and tools of education that can save you money, time and materials. You can have all your information organized in one place and dispose of it at the moment you need. No wonder why people fear technology if it is about to replace some of them in their workplace.

This is a nice paean to the computer, but the essay doesn’t prove that the computer is the greatest invention of all time so much as it proves that the computer is a great invention. If you want to complete the argument, then I think you need to compare the computer with other contenders for the title you want to bestow here. The difficulty of course would be in deciding what to compare it to, and how. Presumably «sliced bread» doesn’t cut it, but what about: the wheel, the pen, the plough, the sword, the printing press, the steam engine, the telephone, the automobile, the airplane, the internet (if that’s an «invention») and so on.

What you need to do, I think, instead of just creating a list of wonderful things about the computer, is to adopt a historical perspective, and make a historical argument: think of the place of several inventions in the history of human progress. What did the printing press make possible for instance in the early modern period of European history? What did the steam engine make possible in the history of industrialization? And so on. If you can make an argument that the computer is the most important invention in terms of what it makes possible in general for human progress, as compared to what other inventions have made possible, you will have a much more compelling argument for why it should be considered the greatest invention ever.

P.S. The final sentence is a bit of an anticlimax, I think. If you want to argue that the computer is the greatest invention ever, perhaps the right way to put it would be to say that computer will liberate us from work, instead of just taking our jobs. One day these reviews, for instance, will be written by a computer, and I’ll be able focus on Barcelona’s annihilation of Bayer Leverkusen.

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Computers invention essay: Free essay on the invention of computers

Free essay on the invention of computers

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